LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: mar. 26, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $9,508 Super High 5 — $566 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
There’s ten races on the final Saturday of the winter meet. The lightbulb has gone on for #1 Bullets Lady (7/2) in her last two starts, as she’s won back-to-back starts impressively after starting her career 0-for-8. She wasn’t challenged on the lead against a soft n/w2L field last out, but has the best early pace figures in the race and should be able to get another cruising trip on the lead. #7 El Bochinche (4/1) has also won twice in a row, and is a little more lightly-raced, having starting her career 0-for-5 before back-to-back wins. She’ll rate just off the pace and will take advantage if Bullets Lady tired. #6 Minnetonka (7/5) has burned a lot of money at this level lately, finishing second in three consecutive starts at low odds. She’s flattened out after getting stalking trips in her last few starts, but should at least hang around for a piece.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#7 Got a Good Reason (7/2) ran a game race last out, finishing third after hanging on well in the stretch, including losing second by a length. She matched her lifetime-top brisnet figure with a 60, the best last-out figure in the race by nine points. #3 Union Betty (4/1) has run consistently good races at this level but hasn’t loomed as a serious win threat in her last few starts. However, you could say that’s because of some trouble in those races, including some wide trips. #6 Love Dust (2/1) ran in the 60s steadily to start her career last summer, but struggled towards the end of the year. She now makes her first start of the year and races at this level for the second time.
- Jonathan Thomas hoping for Delight-ful SelimaTrainer Jonathan Thomas is scheduled to send out a pair in Saturday’s Selima Stakes at Laurel Park, including morning line favorite Delight.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES
#7 Emma Devine (12/1) impressively broke her maiden two races back, then closed well in her first start against winners last out. She’s stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first time, but her running style makes me think she can handle the distance. #5 Sister Supream (5/2) stretches out after a very sharp gate-to-wire maiden win at six furlongs, and aims to take this field all the way around. #3 Jacronda’s Devil (2/1) has run in the 70s three times in her last four races and just missed going 1 1/16 miles a few races back.
RACE 4: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
This race might come down to who gets the early lead. Both #1 Sammie Sunshine (9/5) and #4 Acadian Girl (8/5) are in great form lately and have lots of early speed. If either one gets the early lead, they might be able to kick away from the others and win going away. I’ll give Sammie Sunshine the edge, as she has a better post position and will likely be a better value but neither one would be a surprise. #7 Mi Cleopatra and I (9/2) goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior and won at this level last December, albeit in a sprint. She was well-beaten in her lone start at this level, so we’ll see how she handles two turns.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#7 No Money Down (6/1) has run in the mid-70s in each of his last two starts, and closed for second with a powerful rally last out. #6 Gunhand (7/2) has shown early speed in his last few starts and has been racing well at this level. His start two back, when he got into a duel going two turns and stopped, might scare away some customers, but he’s fought hard on the lead against these types and should enjoy the class drop. #3 No More Mask (10/1) has won two in a row against the fillies, now tries the boys for the first time. She has good tactical speed and will sit the trip.
RACE 6: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#4 Zen Master (9/5) showed speed and faded to finish fourth on debut in what has proven to be a very strong maiden race. Each of the top three finishers came back to win their next race. His figure of 87 is also the best last-out mark by a considerable margin. #1 Violent Rock (5/1) goes second off the claim by Norman Cash and cuts back after a flat try going a mile last out. He showed more aptitude going shorter earlier in his career, including an 81 earned on debut three races back. #3 Money Room (3/1) has great late pace figures and should come rolling late.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
A giant field of thirteen entered this one, including Excellerator, who is making his first start since being disqualified from a win in last year’s Tesio Stakes. #11 Treasure Tradition (4/1) has run huge races in his two starts since returning from a break, including a strong-closing second in his last start at this level. He’s the only one in the race with figures in the 90s in back-to-back starts. #8 Demo Doctor (8/1) ships down from New York off an impressive gate-to-wire victory last out. He’s facing a tougher field here but his early speed will be a potent weapon. #3 Rising Perry (6/1) makes good middle moves that often flatten out, but is still worth using underneath.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#2 Away to Return (8/5) has standout figures and early speed with a great post. She stopped in her last start at this condition, but that was against a much better field than this one, and it was at a mile. The cutback in distance will help the cause; she ran huge going seven furlongs two races back. #1 Tritone Gal (6/1) has made mild ground late in her two starts since coming off the layoff, and should keep moving forward third off the bench. #5 Knot Anymore (7/2) shipped to Charles Town last out and won second time out without breaking a sweat. She’ll be the main challenger to Away to Return on the lead.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
#2 Treasure Trove (2/1) couldn’t catch pacesetting Borracho last out at this level, but outkicked the others and got up for a solid second. If he’s able to chase down the leader this time, it’ll almost certainly be #5 Money Ride (8/5) that he’s running down. He’s won his last two starts by a combined 7 1/4 lengths while racing on or near the pace both times. He’s getting a class test here but it doesn’t look like there’s anyone who can run with him. #4 Plot the Dots (7/2) goes first off the claim for Claudio Gonzalez. He’s run some decent figures since returning from a long break in November but hasn’t quite shown the kick that earned him success earlier in his career. We’ll see if the change in barn wakes him up.
RACE 10: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Make it a Double (7/2) shipped to Laurel last out and battled well in the stretch after stalking the pace. The Anthony Farrior/Arnaldo Bocachica combo is always dangerous. #7 Congress Hall (4/1) closed for third against better last out, and while she rarely wins, she has good enough late pace figures to rally for a piece. #1 Nationalist (9/2) ships up from Florida, where she had been showing uneven form. Crystal Pickett claimed he rot of her last start there, and ships her here from Pickett’s Charles Town base. Gets some class relief here and has decent tactical speed.
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